Title: Running On Empty
Summary: Sometimes the thing you are looking for is what you left behind
Word Count: 994
Author's Notes: Word beta'd. Please report any errors. First fic I'm posting in AGES...
Morgana was anything but a homebody. She swept across the world, jumping from country to country on an annual basis.
Occasionally she'd stop back in London for a few days to catch up before that little voice in her head urged her away again.
On this particular visit, it was a bright July afternoon and Arthur had just stormed into his house shooting murderous looks at everything, including the rug he tripped over in the hallway.
Morgana was in the kitchen, sipping on German Reisling she'd brought with.
"What the hell are you doing?" Arthur raged as he slammed open the fridge and dug out a cold beer.
"...reading?" She held up her tablet.
Arthur necked the beer and quickly replaced it with a second. This calmed him down a little.
"That arrogant little wanker," he muttered as he slouched across from her.
"Just shag him already." Morgana had been witness to the prolonged foreplay that constituted Arthurs relationship with Merlin. It kept her inbox busy.
Arthur shrugged and pulled out his phone. "By the by, we're having a barbeque here tomorrow morning."
Morgana nodded but kept on reading.
When Gwaine struggled through the garden gate the next day, weighed down with a case of beer, Morgana nearly choked on her wine.
She pinched Arthur's elbow and frowned in Gwaine's direction. Arthur shrugged and turned back to making eyes at Merlin as he set up the gas grill.
Gwaine dropped the beers next to the ice bath and ambled over to Morgana.
Invading her personal space, he leaned across her to snag a handful of crisps from the bowl beside her. His scent gave her goosebumps.
"Back in the country then?" Gwaine pulled a rickety garden chair closer to her.
Morgana nodded before taking a fortifying sip of wine.
No matter where she has been or what she has seen, nothing intimidated her more than Gwaine in close proximity.
"How long will you be in town? Maybe we can get a drink?" He pinned her with a look, half come hither and the other half unsure, weary.
Morgana smiled. "A few days. I'm sure we can fit in a drink."
With a nod, Gwaine stood and went over to Merlin to supervise the grill.
She was loading the dishwasher later that night. Most of the party had left, except for Merlin and Gwaine. And Merlin had disappeared with Arthur an hour ago.
A pair of large hands softly gripped her hips, pulling them against a solid groin.
"Gwaine, not here." she hissed as his lips found her neck.
"There's no one here but us." he growled, nibbling at her pulse. It made her knees buckle.
He turned her around and with a step, had her pinned to the counter.
"Gwaine. Not here. Not now."
The heat that was spreading across her body suddenly vanished. Gwaine retreated to the other side of the kitchen, picking up his beer where it stood on the table.
"Then when Morgana?"
"I just want to finish-"
"Not that," he interrupted, his voice taking on a husky edge. "How much longer are you going to run?"
"I'm not running."
"I'm not going to wait much longer." he said. "I told myself, if tonight goes like all the others, I'm letting you go. And its surprisingly easy to decide that when you're
not a priority to the other person."
Morgana was dumbstruck. "But...but...Gwaine. This isn't the arrangement."
"Fuck the arrangement 'Gana. I thought I could wait for you to find what you were looking for, but I can't. Because every time I say goodbye to you, a little piece of me dies. And soon there will be nothing left. Call it self-preservation."
With that, he left.
Morgana sat at the kitchen table, dishes abandoned. What the hell just happened?
Arthur stumbled into the kitchen and paused when he saw his sister.
“You alright?” he asked, taking two bottles of water from the fridge.
“I don’t know. Gwaine accused me of running from something.”
“I’m not even going to justify that with an answer.”
“But I’m not running. I’m exploring.”
Arthur took her hand and gently kissed the knuckles. “You know, we are genetically programmed to be utter idiots with tendencies to be oblivious to our own sub consciousness.”
“Now you’re quoting Merlin.”
“He’s a very smart man.”
“I can see why you love him.”
“Then why can’t you see that Gwaine is as mad about you as you are of him. No one is fooled by the little show you two always put on when you’re home.”
“There is no show. There’s nothing there.”
“Oh yes, of course. Nothing except stupidity.”
Morgana huffed and turned back towards the dishes.
“You know,” Arthur said heading towards the door. “Gwaine hasn’t slept with anyone since you two started your little whatever it is. And you never write about meeting anyone either.”
Morgana ignored the tears dripping onto the glasses as she continued to load the dishwasher.
"You are my priority." she said as he opened his door.
He arched an eyebrow before yawning dramatically. The sky was beginning to lighten behind her.
“I don’t like getting woken up at dawn. Especially when its to be lied to.” He grouched, opening the door wider to allow her in.
“I’m not lying,” she said. “You know, all those amazing places I visit. At least once a day I catch myself thinking that it would be so much better if you were there with me. And then I think, but you have a solid job, and bills, and rent, and you can’t just up and leave. And if you do, you’ll end up hating me for making you give all this up.”
“This?” he laughed sweeping his arm out at his tiny flat. “Oh you silly woman. This is easier to give up than you’d think.”
“Really?” she asked as he pulled her closer.
“Really.” He murmured before kissing her.